Volunteers at the East Maui Animal Refuge in Haiku AKA The Boo Boo Zoo

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your criteria for taking in an animal?

  • Is the animal in distress?
  • Should a Vet Clinic see it first?
  • Is there another place that can properly care for it?
  • Can we properly care for it?

How are you supported financially?

We are solely supported by public donations.

Why don’t you have a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit?

Wildlife Rehab Permits require an animal be euthanized if it cannot be returned into the wild within 180 days. Under our Dept. of Agriculture Permit we must keep all rescued wildlife at the refuge as long as it is given a healthy and safe habitat, whether it could survive in the wild or not. We are no-kill.

How did you get started?

Rescuing animals in distress began as occupational therapy as part of  my wife’s Suzie’s “Chinese conventional based” cancer treatment. It helped give her 40 years of life more than she expected.

What does it cost monthly to run this place?

Our average monthly operating cost is $30,000.00. There are no salaried employees.

How do you raise that much?

Regular donations are never that much. On occasion we will get a generous grant from an individual or their foundation or a bequest that helps catch up and pay the bills. We believe if you do the right thing the universe will help support you.

When will you euthanize an animal?

We do not have euthanization capability at The Refuge. We strive to provide a comfortable healthy environment for each animal’s individual and sometimes unique situation. If we believe an animal is in irreversible pain then the decision to euthanize is discussed between the attending veterinarian and the executive director.

How often do you take in animals?

We receive over 6 animals on an average day.

How often do you get calls?

We average about 10 calls an hour.

What do your veterinary bills run?

We average about $5,000/month on veterinary calls. We maintain a supply of standard medications on hand to help with that expense.

What are you doing to try and offset that expense?

We have built a structure to house a live in veterinarian upstairs and set up a Community Clinic downstairs. We have developed a grant request to get funding to complete that project. Copies of the ”Community Veterinary Clinic” grant request are available upon request or to send out to prospective supporters of the project.

Why are you not open daily to the public?

We normally do tours on Wednesday’s at 1:00 which we had to suspend temporarily.  But even once a week is challenging with over 35 deer roaming freely because they are easily spooked by people walking around and often will ram themselves in the fence trying to flee. Many of these deer have been traumatized by hunters so they are very wary of strangers. So we need to be very careful.  Because of this and other factors we do not allow children under 16 on the property.